Medicare 101: 3 Things You Need to Know Now

When retirement seems like it’s right around the corner, there’s a lot to look forward to. You might be ready to travel or spend some quality time with your grandkids.


Whatever you’re most excited for, it probably isn’t Medicare. And that’s more than understandable. At HAP, we know health care can be confusing, which is why we try to make it easier to navigate. Read on for three important tips.


Number 1You’re eligible for Medicare at age 65

Upon eligibility, you’ll have seven months to enroll. You’re eligible to enroll three months before your birthday month, during your birthday month and three months after. But, because your coverage can start the month you turn 65, we recommend signing up early.

Some things to know:

  • If you are taking Social Security benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B. Part B comes at a cost, so you can choose to turn it down. But, if you decide to keep it, it will simply be deducted from your Social Security benefits.
  • If you are not taking Social Security benefits, you’ll have to sign yourself up.
  • If you still have health insurance through your employer or your spouse’s employer, you can delay signing up. Just remember: You’ll need to enroll within eight months of losing that coverage.

Number 2You’ll have to learn the Medicare alphabet

When you get older, there’s an entirely new alphabet song. Original Medicare has two parts: Part A and Part B, which covers hospital services and doctor’s visits. Original Medicare is offered by the government and does not cover prescription drugs. You can get prescription drug coverage with Part D, which is available through private insurance companies like HAP. Or, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Part C, which includes everything in parts A and B plus extras that Original Medicare doesn’t have. These plans can also include Medicare part D coverage.

  • Part A covers hospital services. This includes nursing homes, home health and hospice care. If you or your spouse paid Medicare payroll taxes for at least 10 years, Part A is free. If you didn’t, Part A is available for a monthly premium.
  • Part B covers doctor visits. This includes office visits, lab work, X-rays, outpatient procedures, preventative measures, medical equipment and some home health and emergency services. Members must pay a monthly premium for Part B.
  • Part D can help lower prescription drug costs and protect against higher costs in the future. It helps you cover the cost of your medications for a small monthly premium.
  • Part C is known as Medicare Advantage, or “new Medicare.” While Parts A, B and D are provided by the government, Part C is provided by private insurance companies like HAP. We have HMO plans as low as $0* per month and PPO plans as low as $15* per month, plus personalized service.

Number 3You can fill the gaps with extra insurance 

If you’re sticking with Original Medicare, you can purchase additional coverage through a health plan. Often called Medicare Supplement or Medigap, this helps cover costs your plan won’t, like long-term care, hearing, vision and dental.

Want to learn more about our Medicare Advantage plans? To talk to an expert by calling (833) 923-1617 (TTY: 711). Our team is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Or, if you’d rather do your own research, you can request a FREE Medicare planning guide.


Copyright © 2018 HAP
2018 Health Alliance Plan of Michigan
Y0076_ALL 2019 Medicare 101 Blog
CMS Accepted 12/05/2018

HAP Senior Plus (HMO)/(HMO-POS)/(PPO) and HAP Primary Choice Medicare (HMO) are health plans with Medicare contracts. HAP Empowered Duals (HMO SNP) is a Medicare health plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Michigan Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plans depends on contract renewals. HAP Senior Plus (PPO) is a product of Alliance Health and Life Insurance company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HAP.
This information is not a complete description of benefits. For more information call Medicare Michigan customer service at (800) 868-9885 (TTY: 711) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week (Oct. 1 – March 31) / 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday (April 1 - Sept. 30).

Categories: Get To Know Your Plan

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